Mikhail Grigorenko, who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche by the Buffalo Sabres at the 2015 NHL Draft, is hoping a reunion with Patrick Roy can spark his game.
Roy coached the forward for two seasons with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"I can't wait for the opportunity to have him as a coach again," Grigorenko told The Denver Post on Wednesday. "I had my best years in Quebec, and it was great having Patrick as a coach. He was great to me and taught me a lot of things on and off the ice. I can't thank him enough for what he's done for me already, and I can't wait to have him as a coach again."
Grigorenko, 21, had 40 goals and 85 points in 59 games with the Remparts in 2011-12, and had 30 goals in 33 games the following season under Roy, who coached Quebec from 2005 through 2013, when he was hired as Avalanche coach.
Selected by Buffalo in the first round (No. 12) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Grigorenko had six points (three goals) in 25 NHL games last season under coach Ted Nolan, who was fired by the Sabres after they finished with the worst record in the NHL.
Grigorenko spent most of the 2014-15 season with the Sabres' American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans; he had 14 goals and 36 points in 43 games. He signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Avalanche on July 15, meaning he has a good chance to play all season in the NHL.
"I'm really glad we were able to get the deal done real quick," Grigorenko said. "I'm really excited for this opportunity and I look at it like a really good chance for me to become a full-time NHL player by having a good season and go from there. Hopefully, we'll be able to sign a longer deal."